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How to be a mentor

Coaches learn new skills by sharing advice, information, and experiences with each other. Learn how you can be a mentor and take both your own and someone else’s coaching to the next level.

Being a mentor is no easy job. You probably remember the facilitator who coached you during your initial coach development learning module. They were there to help you, to provide feedback and to give you opportunities to learn, practice and improve as a coach. A mentor does a similar thing – help someone else develop and strengthen their coaching skills, be a sounding board for problems, help identify areas that can be improved or just being a source of motivation.


There are many examples in a range of sports that suggest a more comprehensive apprenticeship is beneficial to either a longer term coaching career, or gaining and sustaining results, or indeed both. If you are working with another coach and learning and growing together, here are some tips to help you help each other and your athletes:

  • Create a plan of action.
  • Get there - observe your fellow coach in action.
  • Be on time - show respect.
  • Know your stuff - understand what the session is all about.
  • Understand the learning style of the coach (VARK) - ask them to find out how they prefer to learn.
  • Offer and promote shadowing opportunities - so your fellow coach can observe you and others in action too.
  • Be supportive and take time to follow up after each session - discuss what went well / not so well (use the REVIEW tool)
  • Be a cheer leader - acknowledge development and success… no matter how small. Progress is progress!
  • Be honest - offer constructive feedback to help your fellow coach perform at their best.
  • Stay together - If you have offered your time don't give up on them.

To learn more about the role of the New Zealand Squash CoachForce and how they can assist click here

To read Sport New Zealand’s guidelines on mentoring click here

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